Express & Star

Darrell Clarke: Danny Guthrie’s Walsall exit suited everyone

Darrell Clarke has revealed Danny Guthrie was on a pay-as-you-play deal and that him moving on was good for both the player and Walsall.

Last updated

The 33-year-old has struggled with injuries this season and been behind Alfie Bates in the pecking order when fit.

On transfer deadline day he left the Saddlers by mutual consent.

“Danny got a new contract in the summer because when he played last year he averaged two points a game,” Clarke said.

“When he played his performances were to a high standard, but he was always going to be a gamble with how many minutes we could get him out on the pitch. Everyone sees the name and thinks Danny Guthrie is our highest paid player, it’s a load of rubbish.

“He was well aware that when he signed his contract it was more of a pay-as-you-play incentive. It was never going to be a financial gamble for the football club, as some people like to make out. He goes with our best wishes and we move on. He hasn’t played the minutes that we’d have liked him to and a change was good.”

With no direct replacement coming in for Guthrie, Clarke is now hoping to give academy prospect Sam Perry some game time this season.

“I have Frank Vincent, Sam Perry who I’d like to see get some more minutes from now until the end of the season, Liam Kinsella, Stuart Sinclair, Alfie Bates.

“Nolan can play in a midfield three as well, we have Osadebe who can do that too.

“We have options in the middle of the park so there was no rush to bring in another midfielder.

“We’ve had a few Covid cases in the academy, which linked to the reserve team, so Sam hasn’t played a game for a long time.

“He’s training really well and I’m hoping we’ll get him a few more minutes from now until the end of the season to see that progress.”